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Review: Visual Sound Jekyll and Hyde

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tplyons, May 18, 2005.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Visual Sound Jekyll and Hyde
    Ultimate Overdrive Pedal?​

    When the box arrived in the mail, I was proudly toting my black Big Muff Pi T-Shirt as I strutted around my home playing bass. I popped it open, and was quite surprised by the size of this pedal. I figured the box would be much larger as the pedal claims to do a lot.

    Somewhat odd I instantly plugged the pedal into my trusty Visual Sound OneSpot power adapter without realizing it’s the same company!

    The first thing I noticed on the pedal was the proximity of the two switches, and since each switch controlled a channel, the green one dubbed Jekyll and the red channel was named Hyde (guess where the pedal’s name came from!) The Jekyll channel seemed rather tame, and quite familiar as it has relatively similar controls to a Big Muff Pi. I instantly dialed in comfortable and familiar tones, and my jaw dropped when flipping the bass boost switch, which really let the low end of my Fender P shine through.

    Taking advantage of closely designed switches, I stomped both simultaneously to switch to the Hyde channel, which I dialed a wild high gain distortion which resembled Zakk Wylde and his Marshall stack. The harmonics were rich and the attack was clear. Though well defined, the distortion was thick and meaty, just like you would expect. Again, I flipped the Sharp/Blunt and was blown away by an even clearer attack and crisper highs. Certainly a metal bassist’s dream.

    After surviving a mild mannered Jekyll and a beastly Hyde, I engaged both of the channels for a thick, two stage distortion that almost made me cringe with delight.

    Overall, I found both channels useable separate or together, and preferred to leave the left half Jekyll set to a mild mannered overdrive, and kicked both switches to engage the high gain Hyde distortion. The close proximity of both switches allows for easy switching of channels, to switch to whichever setting you’d like in a single stride.

    The box was obviously well planned, laid out, and designed electronically, that even without true bypass, the pedal seemed to be quiet and well mannered. The build quality was top notch, and I just have to go out and find where to buy my own. This is another guitar pedal that does double duty very well with its lower-octave brother.

    * Retains low end
    * Simple Controls
    * Good workmanship

    * Not true-bypass
    * Larger footprint

    Buy your own Jekyll and Hyde to make some soundclips.​

    Total rating:
    5/5 Jumpy Guys
    :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:

    BassPlayer style available at http://www.tplyons.com/reviews/VJH1.pdf
  2. Excellent review!
  3. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
  5. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    yeah, is the Jekyll setting TSish?
  6. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    It IS a Tubescreamer. The 808. Bob added a bass boost, too. This is supposed to be a killer pedal. Also, the bypass is arguably superior to true bypass. Bob Weil is a huge advocate of buffering, and has developed a great sounding buffer. I think he calls it "Clear Tone" or "True Tone" or something like that. It allegedly makes everything in your signal path sound clearer, as long as you have a Visual Sound pedal first. All of his pedals share the same buffer circuit. Thanks for the review, TP.
  7. Sweet, I was looking at this pedal but couldn't find any opinions bass related anywhere.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yep, the Jekyll channel is a TS808 clone. The Hyde is kind of Muffish.
  9. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Either way, its sweet.

    When I first plugged it in, my jaw dropped! Just using the Jekyll side by itself you can get ANYTHING from timid boost to nice and gritty. Then kick on the Hyde and get form slight grit to EXTREME. Put both on and you will have your guitarist blown to the back of the risers! I HIGHLY suggest this pedal for ANYONE looking for any type of overdrive or distortion. IT kicks everything out of the water. I could not be happier with this pedal.

    Soundclips to come soon (hopefully sometime over the weekend).

    If anyone has any questions about this pedal feel free to shoot me a pm, im on almost daily :smug:
  10. Damn you. This thread just made me buy one on Ebay right now! :p
    Although, mums paying for half as its my birthday present. I cant wait :D
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Everything you say is entirely true, and it really holds down the bass frequencies too!
  12. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    What does thge blunt switch do?
  13. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    stop. i'm still GASing for a Muff'n since that review.
  14. Yorkiebassist


    Dec 20, 2005
    Isn't this a guitar pedal? Our guitarist wants one.
  15. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    I had a chance to play one of these at local shop today after being spurred on by these reviews. Generally I agree with them.

    1) I liked it alot. Lots of sounds and possibilites here. Good fun.

    2) There was some low end loss with my Dingwall. The E-G strings weren't a problem, but the B string definately lost some of the booty.

    That said, it's still one of the better flavors of OD/DIST that I've tried with a bass. I want one.
  16. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005

    Wow following in my footsteps eh? First the Wah,now this...haha!

    But seriously, you should really enjoy this pedal, I have yet to find a distortion pedal with as much bass response as this one. I need to keep the eq and tone up or else it gets to boomy.

    Syciprider, the blunt switch gives the hyde distortion much more edge and definition.

    Yorkiebassist yes it is a guitar pedal but it works fine on bass. Like I said, I had to watch the controls to make sure it wasnt too boomy.

    Grygrx, this could be true as I dont own a 5 string bass...yet. But with the tone and eq controls I wouldnt expect that.
  17. haha. No, i didnt know you were getting the wah and i got mine first anway! :spit: :D

    Ive been using my russian muff and the new guvnor. I love the muff and will definately be keeping it, whether or not it will stay on my board im not sure. The guvnor does what it does, but if you set it to sound chunky on your lower notes, you really have to dig in to get the same distorted sound further up the neck.

    I basically want something like a muff, and then a chunky overdrive. Or, a smooth overdrive, then a chunky distortion and keep my muff on the board. Oh the possibilties are endless. Plus the 2 in one style will keep more space on board. Which has been having some renovations. ;)

  18. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    I've had mine for about 4 or 5 years - the older grey version. I love it. It beats the living crap out of a metal zone, unless you want hissy junk for tone...

    It's also amazing how many pro artists have this little known pedal on their pedalboards.

    The guitarist touring with Earth Wind and Fire has one.

    Fleetwood Mac, Audio Adrenaline, Steven Curtis Chapman, Eric Johnson, Relient K, The Strokes, Tesla, and me!!

    The list goes on and on, as does the amazing sound that comes out of this pedal.

    For the record, I've only used this with guitar, and I think it sounds better with humbuckers than single coils.
  19. dexterward


    Sep 30, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    I recently bought this pedal used, based on tplyons's review.
    At first, I thought it was pretty great, But after having messed around with it a little, I'm kind of disappointed. Even with the bass boost engaged, the Jekyll side sounds kind of thin. You can really hear the bass loss if you alternate between the effect on and off. The Hyde side seems a little more bass friendly to me, although it gets kind of boomy/muddy when the eq is set to let through a decent amount of bass. Overall, I think the pedal is pretty cool, and it's probably useable here and there, But it really didn't blow me away or anything. I guess I'm looking for something with a little more bass response.

    For those of you who currently have this pedal, could you share some of the settings that you like? Maybe I just haven't found the right combination.
  20. Force


    Aug 18, 2005
    Canberra, Australia
    This might be a dumb question, but this is defiantly a bass pedal right? Cause alot of sites don't even say if it is or not. I don't wanna buy it then to figure out it's a normal guitar pedal :p.

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